Relief rally continues amid virus hopes, but oil plunges
Last week’s relief rally continued Monday after an indecisive start in the morning, but closed at session highs. Leading the way was the tech-heavy Nasdaq which rose 3.62%. The TSX gained 2.76%. With Monday’s upward moves, the S&P is now 23% off its 2020 peak, while the Dow is down 25%. Fueling this optimism were reports that the FDA greenlit Abbott Labs‘ new COVID-19 test that can deliver a result in 13 minutes. Abbott popped 6.41%. Meanwhile, Henry Schein (up 4.18%) is awaiting approval of its own 15-minute test.
Against this backdrop, Trump has extended social isolation to April 30, erasing his deadline to restore American workers by Easter. However, Italy‘s curve finally may be flattening. In Spain, the number of new cases has been declining since March 26. (To see the graph, click the country on the left then look at the graph in the bottom right.) It’s still early to call this a true decline, but it is promising. Meanwhile, the heads of Israel and Britain are confirmed to be carrying the virus.
Canada is faring better than the States on a per-capita basis, but it’s too soon to call a flattening of the curve. Rather, the TSX is getting pounded as WCS oil plunged almost 16% to $4.26 per barrel, but WCS actually closed on a daily high and names like CNQ soared 18% and MEG Energy at 22%. In the U.S., Autodesk was a winning, rising over 10%, though travel stocks like American Airlines got pounded by 12.75%.